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You’re Not Actually Betting Adam Thielen to Win MVP, Right?

Adam Thielen Vikings WR
Adam Thielen has done enough in 2018 to still be given odds to win the 2018 NFL MVP. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Adam Thielen faces long odds to win league MVP
  • How the Vikings wideout stacks up against other all-time great WR seasons
  • Who the best bet is to win the league’s most valuable player

Adam Thielen has been ransacking opposing defenses all season long to the tune of league bests in receptions (78) and yards (947), to go along with seven touchdowns.

And he even finds himself among the handful of remaining players receiving odds to win the 2018 NFL MVP. (See the Top Non-QBs tab in the graph below.)

2018 NFL MVP Odds

He is a ways back still, but the fact that he does have odds says people are betting him. We’re here to tell you to stop.

If he’s to legitimately contend for the prestigious award, he will need to have an insane final seven contests of the season, following an already stellar start.

Odds to Win 2018 NFL MVP

Player Odds to Win 2018 NFL MVP at Bovada
Patrick Mahomes -140
Drew Brees +300
Todd Gurley +450
Aaron Rodgers +1500
Tom Brady +2000
Adam Thielen +7500

*Follow the link in the table to see all options

Adam Thielen will NOT win league MVP

With average odds of +7100, I can see why some may sprinkle a little on Thielen with that massive payout in mind.

But let’s get real here, there is no way Thielen will become the first ever wide receiver to take home the hardware. That isn’t to take anything away from his incredible statistical campaign at all, but it’s just common sense.

Many consider Jerry Rice to not only be the greatest wide receiver of all time, but the greatest NFL player ever, period. And he never won league MVP despite a slew of monster seasons.

Megatron was unstoppable in 2012, and Julio Jones was incredible in 2015, and they also didn’t emerge victorious.

How no receiver has ever won the award is pretty baffling. Let’s compare their legendary seasons to the pace the Vikings wideout is on.

Most Ever Receiving Yards in One Season

Player Year Yards
Calvin Johnson 2012 1,964
Julio Jones 2015 1,871
Jerry Rice 1995 1,848
Adam Thielen 2018 1,684 (on pace)

Don’t call me a hater but the writing is on the wall.

Still, we should appreciate a still-underappreciated Thielen for what he is: an incredible athlete that paid his dues as an undrafted player out of Minnesota State to become an elite talent.

Is there any point in throwing a small wager on Thielen at +7500? NO!

But Thielen has been strong for a lengthy period of time

Thielen was able to accomplish something the first eight games this season that only one other receiver in history of the game was able to do – putting him in rarefied air alongside Megatron (Calvin Johnson).

This has not just been an amazing half-season of strong play. Thielen had nearly 1,300 yards last season and was just shy of 1,000 the year before that.

But the MVP is for the league’s elite, not the best story in the NFL.

Thielen faces tough pass defenses down the stretch

Let’s say you go ahead and forget all that “no WRs have ever won MVP” talk, and still want to believe Thielen has a chance to do something Jerry Rice never did, maybe his scheduled opponents over the second half of the season will change your mind.

The Vikings still face five teams this season that are no worse than 12th in pass defense, including a Lions team that held him to a season-low 22 yards last week.

While it is certainly within the realm to expect him to continue his torrid pace, there’s a reason only one other player had 100-yard games in eight straight, so the likelihood he starts an extended new streak is low.

Opponent Pass Defense Rank
Bears 12
Packers 10
Patriots 26
Seahawks 6
Dolphins 22
Lions 4
Bears 12

2018 NFL MVP Best Bet

Patrick Mahomes continues throwing hot fire, preventing Adam Thielen from gaining the distinction of being the first wide receiver named league MVP.

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Michael Harrison came into this world an immediate sports fan, thanks to his grandfather's influence. He brings with him 12 years in the sports industry having worked for various shows at TSN. He is a diehard Seahawks fan and will defend Pete Carroll's decision-making abilities to the bitter end.